BY JASPER

Has anyone ever counted pieces of dog poo? These guys have & then ran the dog poo fairy campaign! Read on as Jasper tells us all about them…

For over a year now, Mosman Council have been running a campaign, which was adopted from one that was running in Britain, and goes by the motto, ‘there is no such thing as the Dog Poo Fairy’. The movement adopts the ambassador of a mythical fairy who will not be there to come and pick up your dog poo. This particular operation is part of the council’s larger push to be cracking down on hygiene and dog poo lying around the Mosman parks and reserves.

Between January, 2014 and January, 2015, Mosman Council ran an experiment in which they counted the amount of pieces of dog poo in parks around Mosman. In 2014, they ferried around to parks like Spit-west Reserve, St Georges Heights, Rosherville Reserve and Sirius Cove Reserve. They then placed flags at each piece of dog poo (symbolising that they need to be picked up), signposted the Dog Poo Fairy all around the parks and the Mosman community and facilitated more poo bags at bins. They counted all the poo they found and then came back to the same places a year later, and noticed a huge decrease in the amount of poo they found.

The reasons why the Mosman Council ran this successful campaign was because, firstly, it doesn’t look attractive, and secondly, it is a safety and hygiene hazard to the environment. Seeing dog poo around the parks of Mosman, and not being able to walk in the parks without smelling the stench that the dog poo gives off, is not at all pleasant and it really discourages visitors to Mosman to come back. The second point, and perhaps more importantly, is how threatening dog poo can be to the environment when it is left on the ground. When pet owners don’t pick up their animals’ poo, the poo can get washed into stormwater drains or directly into the harbour when it rains. This then pollutes the harbour around the area and it can make swimming at beaches such as Chinamans and Balmoral very unhygienic.

To conclude, the campaign has been unquestionably triumphant in its aim to get pet owners to pick up their pet’s droppings. I think one of the contributing reasons has been the unique nature of the movement and the relatability that people of the community have to the case. The Mosman Council have said how “touching it has been to see people change their ways” and I think this really sums up how cooperative the Mosman community have been in tackling what was a growing problem.

Let us know how you heard about the dog poo survey by filling out this brief survey here!